Asian Stocks Increase, Investors Caution Ahead of Fed

Asian Stocks Increase, Investors Caution Ahead of Fed

On Tuesday, Asian shares soared but investors caution before a Federal Reserve policy decision, crude oil prices retreated as economic growth concerns overshadowed supply concerns stemming from current Middle East pressures.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific outside Japan inched up 0.6 percent while Japan’s Nikkei fell 0.7 percent. Australian stocks gained 0.1 percent.

In Hong Kong, Hang Seng Index increased more than 1 percent. The Shanghai Composite Index dipped 0.1 percent and South Korea’s KOSPI soared 0.4 percent.

The Fed faces new demand by President Donald Trump to cut rates, starts a two-day meeting on June 18-19. Federal Reserve is anticipated to leave borrowing prices unchanged but maybe lay the groundwork for a cut this year.

Hopes for U.S. monetary policy have been boost riskier assets, which a month ago were buffeted in rising trade spat between Washington and Beijing. The S&P added 5 percent this month after dipping last month.

“In just a few months, the market has turned from being guided by the Fed to actively guiding the Fed,” wrote interest rate strategists at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

Markets are about completely pricing in a 25-basis-point interest rate cut for July.

“The FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) meeting is the week’s biggest event so there will be a degree of caution prevailing in the markets,” said Masahiro Ichikawa, senior strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui DS Asset Management.

“Expectations for a rate cut in July have increased significantly, so the markets could experience disappointment if the Fed does not send strong signals of impending easing.”

César Pérez Ruiz, chief investment officer at Pictet Wealth Management, said in a note on Tuesday “if market expectations for cuts are not met, we could see a jump in market volatility.”

U.S. Treasury yields fell after the New York Fed’s business growth in the state showed a decline this month to its frailest level in more than 2-1/2- years.

The dollar index versus the basket of six major currencies reduced 0.1 percent to 97.42 after withdrawing from a two-week high.

The Australian dollar eased to its five-month low of $0.6830 after Reserve Bank of Australia’s June meeting showed legislators thought it might may have to fall again to push down unemployment and revive wages and inflation.

The Fed Reserve cut interest rate to a record low of 1.25 percent previous this month to support the stoppage economy.

British pound slumped $1.2512 its lowest since January. Concerns that former foreign minister Boris Johnson will replaced PM Theresa May as prime minister have dogged sterling.

The euro was little changed at $1.1230 after spending the preceding day confined to a narrow range.

U.S. crude oil futures dropped 0.3 percent to $51.77 a barrel after declining 1.1 percent in the preceding day. Brent crude futures, the international benchmark fell with similar amount at $60.76, subsequent Monday’s loss of 1.7 percent.

In commodity trading, oil prices tumbled on Monday as frail Chinese economic data a week ago led to worries of lower economic demand for the commodity.

The following incident oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman a week ago remained high, worries over flagging demand overshadowed pressures in the Middle East.